JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Here’s a warning to anyone looking to rent a home: scammers are posing as landlords, making false advertisements and stealing deposits from unsuspecting tenants.
That’s exactly what happened to real estate agent Jonathan Daugherty at a Murray Hill property he’s trying to rent for a client.
“People copy the listing and put it on Craigslist or Facebook or something,” Daugherty said.
Interested renters discovered it was a sham when they went to the real listing on Zillow and called Daugherty with questions. “I would tell them it’s fraud because obviously a $1,400-a-month property rented for $700-a-month is fraud,” Daugherty said.
The mysterious real estate impostor told people he was in Lake City, go see the property and if they like it, apply online.
People said the impostor then charged an application fee ranging from $25 to $50 and sometimes even asked for a $500 deposit. All that money goes into the crook’s pocket.
“These numbers add up quickly,” Daugherty said.
When Daugherty called the police, the police said there was nothing they could do.
The impostor has been very difficult to track down and usually doesn’t use any of their real personal information.
A search of the Better Business Bureau website shows all types of scams, including real estate, all over Florida with the same scenario.
In the meantime, Daugherty now has signs in the windows of the house informing potential tenants that there is only one way to rent the house and that it is not rented by a random person who does not is not in town.
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Origin of message: 4jax News
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